Challah

I have been making challah for years in my stand up large mixer. I went to a challah bake and we all made challah by hand and there is no comparison. A much lighter delicious challah. Try it, you will not be sorry.

INGREDIENTS
2 Sachets Instant Yeast
1 Cup Oil
1 Cup Sugar
4 Eggs
4 ½ Cups Water – Have made with both cold and luke warm water.
2 kg All Purpose (Cake) Flour
2 Tbls Salt

METHOD
Oven 190ºC (375 ºF)
1 Using a large plastic bowl add the water and the yeast and using a wire whisk, whisk for 5 minutes.
2 Add the sugar and continue to whisk for 2 minutes
3 Add the oil and continue to whisk for 3 minutes
4 Add the eggs and continue to whisk for 3 minutes
5 Start adding the flour cup by cup whisking each cup in. Add the salt with the 2nd cup.
6 When you feel you cannot whisk anymore because the mixture is too stiff, remove the whisk and mix in the rest of the flour by hand.
7 Once all the flour is incorporated and you have a soft but not sticky dough, coat with a little oil.
8 Cover with plastic wrap and a blanket and allow to rise till doubled in size.
9 I often make the dough late at night and let it rise till morning out of the fridge.
10 Punch down the dough, separate a small piece of dough the size of a golf ball and say the blessing. Wrap the piece of dough in foil and burn it in the oven
11 Divide the dough into 4 or 5 pieces and plait.
12 Place on a baking tray and cover with plastic and a blanket and allow to rise until double in size.
13 Beat an egg and paint over challah and sprinkle with seeds.
14 Bake for 25 minutes until golden.
15 I often halve the recipe and make 2 large or 3 medium challah but then I do not say the blessing.

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Muesli

INGREDIENTS
500grams/1lb Rolled Oats
1 cup Whole Almonds
1 cup Pumpkin Seeds
1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
1/4 cup Sesame Seeds
1 cup Coconut Flakes. I used desiccated coconut
2 tbls Coconut or Canola Oil
1/3 cup Maple Syrup or Honey
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Dried Apricots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Dried Apple Rings, sliced
1 cup Dried Dates, sliced
1/2 cup Cranberries

METHOD
Preheat oven to 180/350
1. Mix first 6 ingredients together in a large bowl.
2. Blend the oil, maple syrup or honey & vanilla together.
3. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix well.
4. Place parchment paper into a large cookie/baking tray and spread mixture.
5. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes till golden.
6. Remove from oven and allow to cool before folding in the dried fruit.
7. Store in a sealed container and enjoy with milk, yogurt or fruit juice.
8. Any dried fruit can be used.

Chocolate Brownies

I have found the perfect brownie recipe. It is made with cocoa and oil so it is dairy free (parev) and oh so good. I make the recipe as is and depending which way my mood takes me I fold through pecan nuts or swirl peanut butter through. They are also wonderful when poured into the pan and a third is swirled with peanut butter, a third with chocolate chips and the other third left plain or pecans dotted over.

IMG_3937

INGREDIENTS
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup cocoa

METHOD
1. Pre-heat the oven to oven to 160C/325F
2. Place eggs and sugar in a mix-master and beat well together.
3. Add oil and vanilla and mix.
4. Sift flour and cocoa together in a separate mixing bowl and add slowly beating all the time.
5. Grease a large baking tray. I use a 36×28 cm pan.
6. Pour the mixture in and bake for 25 minutes.
7. Leave to cool in the pan before cutting into squares and place on a serving platter.

Adjustments:
1. Add 1 cup chocolate chips and fold in before baking.
2. Add 100g broken pecan nuts and fold through before baking.
3. Swirl a few tbls of peanut butter through before baking (pictured)
4. Once the brownies come out the oven and cool you can spread melted chocolate over. Leave to set before removing from the pan.

Marinated cheese salad

IMG_5240This is delicious served with crisp flat bread or focaccia  and white wine in the summer. Due to it being marinated it will keeps for ages in the refrigerator.

INGREDIENTS
2 balls firm mozzarella cheese – cubed
250 grams feta cheese – rinsed and cubed
1/2 cup pitted black olives – cut in half
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes – sliced into 1/3rds
3 cloves garlic – crushed
5 whole chillies – red or green
3/4 cup pecan nuts – broken in half and added when serving
Fresh basil leaves for decorating

DRESSING
1 cup oil -not extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt

METHOD
1. Place all ingredients into a large rectangular plastic container with a lid.
2. Pour over the dressing.
3. Leave to marinade for a few days.
4. Decorate with fresh basil and pecan nuts before serving.